Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, early bitcoin investors and founders of the Gemini crypto exchange, don’t seem to be deterred by the current market slump. In fact, speaking to Bloomberg recently, Tyler Winklevoss said, “We’re totally at home in winter.”
The twins confirmed they are pushing ahead with their firm’s plans, including a new mobile application, the Gemini Mobile App, which released this week on Google Play and the Apple App Store for all users.
The new app allows buying and selling of Gemini-listed cryptocurrencies, displays market prices and portfolio value, and allows users to send and receive cryptocurrency funds. It also has price alerts, recurring buy orders, and basket order functionality. The basket order feature, called “Buy The Cryptoverse™,” lets users buy an index of coins, weighted by market capitalization, in a single order.
Cameron Winklevoss, also Gemini President, said in the press release:
“Cryptocurrency never sleeps so it’s important for us to make it easy for our customers to engage with it wherever they are and whenever they want.”
The twins told Bloomberg that they are used to “skepticism” over cryptocurrencies, but they don’t appear concerned about launching the new mobile application in the middle of “crypto-winter.” Cameron explained:
“It gives us time to build internally, and refine and kind of catch our breath.”
They also revealed that getting users for the application is a priority for 2019, perhaps marking a change from what seems to have been a more institutional investor-focused strategy to date for Gemini. Cameron said:
“The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.”
Expanding into Asia will also be a focus for 2019, with Gemini hoping to compete with the likes of BitMEXand Huobi in the region. The “Winklevii” also stressed they have a “slow and steady” approach for one simple reason: “We think it’s a space that’s here to stay.”
The industry expects a good degree optimism from those as invested, and such early proponents, as the Winklevoss twins.
Crypto exchange Gemini has just launched a mobile wallet for its users.
Gemini CEO and co-founder Tyler Winklevoss wrote in a Medium post on Tuesday that the new app allows customers to buy or sell cryptocurrencies, view market prices, see their own portfolio values and set price alerts, among other features geared toward traders.
The exchange is working to “build the future of money” through its licensed exchange and regulated custodian, Winklevoss wrote, ensuring that customers can entrust their holdings to a compliant platform.
“A trusted and regulated platform, however, is just the beginning. The future of money is both digital and mobile, and now Gemini is too with the launch of the Gemini Mobile App,” he added.
As such, the app features Gemini’s institutional-grade security, while remaining easy to use, he claimed.
Among the offerings is Gemini’s basket, dubbed the Cryptoverse, which allows customers to simultaneously purchase all of the coins currently offered by the exchange – bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, zcash and litecoin – at once.
The coins are weighted by market capitalization, according to the post.
Gemini added bitcoin cash just days ago, after securing approval from the New York Department of Financial Services.
“We spent the last three years building the world’s most trusted cryptocurrency platform and today we are excited to extend it into your hands and allow you to engage with cryptocurrency wherever you are and whenever you want,” Winklevoss wrote Tuesday.
Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading today with a post on its official Medium blog, Dec. 8. Gemini, which is based in the United States, was founded in 2015 by the Winklevossbrothers.
The exchange pointed out that, at the moment, it will “only be providing support for the Bitcoin ABC network” which is identified on the platform as “Bitcoin Cash with ticker: BCH.”
Gemini declared that they “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.”
In order to ensure legal compliance, the company, which claims to be the world’s most regulated cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, reportedly “worked closely with the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) to obtain approval to offer Bitcoin Cash trading and custody services.”
Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC are the two blockchains that contended for the Bitcoin Cash name after a controversial hard fork. What was often referred to as a “war” in the crypto community ended when Bitcoin SV backer and billionaire entrepreneur Calvin Ayre declared that the chain no longer wants the Bitcoin Cash name, as Cointelegraph reported Nov. 24.
In October, Gemini gained regulatory approval to offer trading of major cryptocurrency Litecoin (LTC). Gemini’s vice president of engineering Eric Winer noted Gemini’s thoroughgoing “banking compliance and fiduciary obligations” under oversight from NYDFS. He stated that Litecoin trading support came as the result of close cooperation with regulators, and that the exchange is approaching new assets with a “security-first” approach.
Crypto exchange Gemini, owned by the Winklevoss twins, just announced plans to support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) trading. Users can deposit BCH into their Gemini accounts this Saturday, December 8th, at 8:30 a.m. EST. Trading will begin on Monday, December 10th, at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Gemini says that following the recent BCH hard fork, the exchange will only be supporting the Bitcoin ABC network (which will be listed as BCH), and not the Bitcoin SV network – at least, for now.
Gemini engineering VP Eric Winer says,
“We are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.
Any cryptocurrency sent to Gemini over a blockchain that we do not support, such as Bitcoin SV (BSV), will be invalid and irrecoverable.”
BCH is the fifth digital currency listed on Gemini in addition to Litecoin, Bitcoin, Ether and Zcash. Gemini is currently offering BCH as a trading pair with each of those currencies plus USD.
The exchange says it’s obtained approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) for BCH trading and custody services.
This post credited to Daily HODL Image source: Daily HODL
Much has been made in recent days about how Gemini dollar (GUSD), a USD-pegged stablecoin created by the Winklevoss-founded Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, can help regularize cryptocurrency as a mainstream asset class. However, decentralization hardliners may be dismayed by the details of this grand bargain.
GUSD Smart Contract Gives Gemini Broad Control
Writing on tech publication Good Audience, blockchain researcher Alex Lebed performs a code review of the Gemini dollar smart contract, finding that, contrary to the ethos and technical specifications of decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, GUSD includes a provision that allows its “custodian” — namely Gemini — to freeze any account.
Lebed — who, in full disclosure, is also attached to a separate stablecoin project — further notes that GUSD uses an ERC20Proxy contract that gives Gemini, as the custodian, the ability to upgrade the contract once every 48 hours, giving it among a myriad of other things the power to simultaneously render all tokens non-transferable.
It’s not entirely surprising that Gemini included a mechanism to allow it to freeze funds, given that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss repeatedly touted GUSD as the first “trusted and regulated digital representation of the U.S. dollar,” both in the official announcement and in subsequent media appearances.
More than just an apparent slight at Tether, the controversial, fully-collateralized stablecoin issuer whose assets are reportedly stored in Puerto Rico, this statement is confirmation that Gemini wants its token to exist alongside and within mainstream finance, not outside of it.
The Gemini dollar whitepaper argues that, because issuing a cryptocurrency whose value is tied to physical assets stored in a centralized location involves some element of trust, that token must have oversight.
“Desirable outcomes in a system that relies (at least in part) on trust requires oversight. In the context of a stablecoin, we submit that the issuer must be licensed and subject to regulatory supervision. From this, transparency and examination become requirements of the system, ensuring its integrity and engendering market confidence…. Gemini operates under the direct supervision and regulatory authority of the New York State Department of Financial Services and is subject to the New York Banking Law and other applicable U.S. laws and regulations.”
That supervision, as detailed above, comes from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), creator of the controversial BitLicense regulatory framework. Gemini, along with fellow New York-based company Paxos, who also released a stablecoin this week, holds an NYDFS charter and must submit to the agency’s stringent regulations governing cryptocurrency companies.
In addition to ensuring that GUSD and the Paxos Standard (PAX) to remain fully backed by physical dollars at all times, the NYDFS said in a statement that it requires the firms to “prevent and respond to any potential or actual wrongful use of stablecoin, including but not limited to its use in illegal activity, market manipulation, or other similar misconduct.”
Additionally, Gemini and Paxos must:
“Implement, monitor and update effective risk-based controls and appropriate BSA/AML and OFAC controls to prevent the Gemini Dollar or Paxos Standard Token from being used in connection with money laundering or terrorist financing.”
Stablecoins: A Corrupt Bargain?
Nor is this element of control unique to Gemini’s stable cryptocurrency. Rather, it stems from the inherent centralization of this stablecoin model, regardless of how closely-regulated a particular issuer is. While fully-collateralized stablecoins ensure price stability, their issuers must also submit to regulatory guidelines and other external pressures. (Other stablecoin models, including those that use an algorithmic process to maintain a synthetic peg to the dollar, carry their own risks.)
When Tether’s treasury address was hacked last year, the company released what was effectively an emergency fork to blacklist the more than $30 million in stolen funds and prevent the attackers from spending them. While node operators could technically have refused to follow the fork, the fact that USDT’s underlying assets can only be redeemed from Tether means that the company could have refused to honor tokens on the original chain.
Similarly, GUSD can only be redeemed for physical USD at Gemini, ensuring that, even absent the ability to lock accounts and freeze funds, Gemini has absolute censorship authority over the underlying assets that give the token value. This way, though, Gemini can more effectively halt the flow of funds if they become involved in money laundering or other illicit activities.
Regardless of the justification, many cryptocurrency diehards may find this arrangement a corrupt bargain, but, frankly, GUSD probably wasn’t built with these users in mind anyway.
And, on the other hand, some users may find comfort in the fact that, just as federal and state regulations require Gemini to include functionality that enables them to stop the token from being used for illicit purposes, those regulations also include provisions that should prevent Gemini from arbitrarily freezing funds indefinitely or stealing tokens outright. Holding the token, like storing your funds in a bank, comes with its trade-offs, and users must determine for themselves whether those trade-offs are tenable.
This post credited to ccn Images from Shutterstock
Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has announced the creation of a USD-pegged Ethereum token that looks to supplant tether (USDT) as the stablecoin of choice among bitcoin traders.
Gemini Launches Tether Competitor
Announced on Monday, the Gemini dollar (GUSD) aims to become what the controversial tether token has not, a “trusted and regulated digital representation” of the U.S. dollar that can be transmitted across the blockchain and traded on cryptocurrency exchanges located throughout the world.
“To date, there has been no trusted and regulated digital representation of the U.S. dollar that moves in an open, decentralized manner like cryptocurrencies,” Gemini wrote in the announcement, which was attributed to Cameron Winklevoss. “The Gemini dollar (ticker symbol: GUSD) combines the creditworthiness and price stability of the U.S. dollar with blockchain technology and the oversight of U.S. regulators, namely, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).”
As outlined in the Gemini dollar whitepaper, GUSD is structured as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereumblockchain. Gemini users can acquire GUSD by depositing USD into their exchange accounts and then converting them into tokens, which can then be withdrawn to any Ethereum address. Similarly, users can exchange GUSD for physical dollars from within their Gemini accounts.
Gemini joins a growing stable of companies that have released cryptocurrency tokens purportedly pegged to the dollar or other fiat currencies. The most widely-used stablecoin is tether, whose eponymous issuer has been criticized for its opaque operations and close association with crypto exchange Bitfinex.
Critics have also alleged that USDT is not fully-backed by USD, though an investigation conducted by a U.S. law firm in June found that — at least at that particular time — Tether was holding more than enough USD in Puerto Rican bank accounts to cover the outstanding USDT.
Tether is currently the eighth-largest cryptocurrency, with a circulating market cap of just under $2.8 billion. Only bitcoin has more daily trading volume than USDT, owing to the fact that the token serves as a USD proxy on the vast majority of exchanges that cannot offer trading directly against the greenback.
GUSD to be Audited, Eligible for FDIC Insurance
In a statement, Tyler Winklevoss said that no other dollar-pegged token is sufficiently regulated and transparent to fulfill the true potential of a stablecoin.
“To date, there has been no trusted and regulated digital representation of the U.S. dollar on the blockchain. We are excited to bring the Gemini dollar to market, a stablecoin that combines the creditworthiness and price stability of the U.S. dollar with blockchain technology and the oversight of the NYDFS.”
Gemini’s website provides further information on what exactly that means. Significantly, the USD backing the tokens will not only be custodied by a U.S. bank but will also be eligible for “pass through” insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Moreover, Gemini has enlisted an independent registered public accounting firm to publish monthly reports verifying that the tokens are fully-backed by USD and has also subjected the GUSD smart contracts to a rigorous audit by an independent security firm.